A FORMIDABLE spell of seam bowling from Ed Holdaway destroyed Burbage & Easton Royal and set Purton up for a simple eight-wicket victory in the WEPL Wiltshire Division.

Holdaway ripped into Burbage’s top order to claim 4-16 from eight overs, including the coveted wicket of former New Zealand Test star Michael Papps, as the visitors capitulated to 34-5 and eventually 84 all out on a decent deck at the Purton Cricket Ground.

In reply, Akarshit Gomel hit a brisk 59 as the hosts cantered home under leaden skies, leaving skipper Elliot Hill delighted.

He told the Advertiser: “It was a much improved performance and that kind of result proves we’re more than capable of competing at the high end of this league. We need to find some consistency to be in that top bracket of teams and unfortunately we haven’t yet shown we can find that level of performance consistently over a longer period. That’s the next challenge for us but this was a good win.

“The credit goes to Ed for the spell of bowling he produced and for getting Copey (David Cope) and Papps in his first over. Getting the Test match player to shoulder arms and clean bowling him shows a lot about the standard of the eight overs he bowled.

“When you rip through the top order with three quality spinners to come into the fray when the new ball’s worn off a bit, good luck to any opposition. It was obviously pleasing and 84 was never going to be enough on that deck.”

Purton’s inconsistent season has left Hill’s men floating in midtable, though they are just 21 points behind leaders Great Bedwyn.

For the skipper, however, thoughts of a promotion challenge are premature.

“It’s a bit of a strange one. We’ve only won three of our seven games this season so we have to be cautious looking up and saying can we challenge for promotion,” he said.

“It may be a bit too far but we need to prove we can put results together over the month of July and then we could be in for a fun August.

“At the moment we’re not looking at any unrealistic targets.”